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Are Seals And Dogs Related? 3 Surprising Answers (2023)

Are Seals And Dogs Related

People say that seals are dogs of the ocean. 

And I can see why.

After all, both animals have the same cute faces…

Plus, they act like each other too. 


Are seals and dogs actually related?

Let’s dive deep into the sea of answers…

Keep reading to find out: 

  • 3 surprising answers about dogs and seals.
  • 1 reason why seals and dogs might not be related.
  • 5 cool similarities between seals and dogs (#3 is amazing).
  • And many, many more…

Are seals and dogs related?

Dogs and seals aren’t related. However, they belong to the same animal group called Caniformia. Moreover, experts theorize that this class came from Miacidaes. It’s an ancient species from 60 million years ago. While they share the same ancestors, dogs and seals aren’t in the same animal family.

How are seals and dogs similar?

Seals and dogs are similar due to the Caniformia group. Being in the same class means both animals share similar traits. 

Specifically, animals in the Caniformia group share features like:

  • Teeth.
  • Claws.
  • Bones.

That’s why dogs and seals look like each other. 


The Caniformia group is also split into a few families, such as:

Now, from this list…

Dogs and seals belong to #2 and #3, respectively.

So as you can see, both animals aren’t in the same family. 

Not to mention…

Pinnipeds split from other members of the Caniformia group 50 million years ago. That’s why they’re very different from dogs.

But that doesn’t mean they have nothing else in common.

In fact…

There are more things these 2 animals could relate to.

And you’ll find out about them below:

#1: They show aggression the same way

Have you ever heard what seals sound like? 

Well, they make a variety of noises. 

Like honking and roaring. 

But you know what’s interesting? 

Seals also growl and bark, just like dogs. 

And according to Sea World:

Their seals growl to show aggression. It’s their way of warning off strangers.

Sounds a lot like dogs, don’t they?

We all know that when Fidos are angry, some of them tend to growl first. 

Almost like they’re saying: 

“I’m warning you. I’ll bite!” 

Fun fact: Mother seals use a special voice to call her kids. Which is similar to the way you and I have different names.

#2: Dogs and seals love digging

Dogs And Seals Love Digging

A seal’s body looks like they’re all nothing but blubber. And science describes that as a thick layer of fat. 

Now, this actually hides a seal’s other body features. Like their fur or their claws. 

“Wait, I thought all they had were flippers.” 

They do. But they still have blunt claws. And they’re about 1 to 2 inches long (2.5 to 5 cm).

That said, these sea Fidos actually love digging. Just like many dogs. 

And they’ll dig for many reasons, such as: 

  • Playing. 
  • Nesting.
  • Making a comfortable spot to sleep on.

Fun fact: Unlike dogs with a short pregnancy, seals could take 9 to 11 months before giving birth. And they can only have 1 pup each year, as per research.

#3: They can still hunt despite being blind

Fun fact: Dogs see with their nose, not their eyes.

And it’s thanks to their powerful sense of smell

So even if a dog loses their sight… 

They can still function well. And that’s another thing a seal can relate to.

But unlike dogs, these sea Fidos don’t rely on their nose. 

Instead, their whiskers help them survive. 

According to some experts

Seals have cat-like whiskers. And they believe it’s used for picking up movement in the water. 

With this, seals can still hunt with ease. Even if they’re blind.

You might also like: 13 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell

#4: Frisbee is fun for them 

Both dogs and seals can learn how to play games.

Especially frisbee. It’s a classic throw and retrieve activity. 

They’d love to play with you, especially when you have treats

Dogs are highly food motivated. And seals can relate to that.

With treats, both animals can learn some cute tricks. 

Like balancing a ball or playing dead, for example.

Though, seal shows are banned nowadays. And for a good reason, too. 

That’s because it’s considered cruel to teach seals tricks. Just for the sake of human entertainment. 

Meanwhile, show dogs are still happily running the stage.

That’s because most of these Fidos enjoy the task. And they can get some exercise from it as well.

Warning: Be careful when playing frisbee at the beach. A report shows that a poor seal’s head was stuck on the toy. Ultimately leading to their death.

#5: Both dogs and seals live in groups 

Dogs are social animals. Especially if you consider their pasts.

Your furry pals came from wolves, after all. 

And these canines often live in packs. That’s why dogs like companionship.

Now, seals also live the same way. 

But instead of packs, these water Fidos have colonies. 

Thus, it’s much bigger than your average wolf pack. 

But unlike dogs… 

Seals aren’t exactly social. They only stay together in a group for reasons, like:

  • Keeping their pups safe.
  • Finding partners much easier.
  • Sticking together to avoid predators.

That’s why seals aren’t exactly the same as dogs when staying in groups.

#BONUS: They can be friends 

Even though dogs and seals aren’t in the same family…

It doesn’t mean they can’t be friends. 

In fact, there are many stories about their bond. 

Seals would cuddle with dogs by the beach. 

Or both of them would roll around the same. 

Some would start playing with each other. And there’s clear excitement between the two of them. 

Just check out this clip, and you’ll see what I mean:

What animals are seals related to?

Seals are related to animals like bears, red pandas, and badgers. That’s according to scientists.

Moreover, they all belong to the same Caniformia group. 

But each 1 of the animals mentioned falls under a different family, like:

  • Ursidae.
  • Ailuridae.
  • Mustelidae.

On the other hand, seals belong to the Pinnipedia family.